My show stopper (visually) is any kind of cake you like with complementary flavored butter cream and or whipped ganache.
Bake a cake or cakes, as much as you need in a square pan. Square because you get more cuts for your buck, but not a sloped sided sheet pan, you lose uniformity. I have 3 inch deep square pans in three sizes 8 inch and up, I use whichever one I need based on the number of desserts that I need and what size they will be.
Whip up the butter cream/whipped ganache
Tort the cake into one inch layers (or thereabouts), 3 inch deep pan yields three layers.
Pick a cookie cutter, any shape will do but ones without a “lip” work best and you can find square, oval, hex, round, heart and even “flowers” in various sizes. Cut out as many pieces of cake as you can. You can skip the cookie cutter and cut diamonds but it can be hard to get them perfectly uniform. (I did a pharmaceutical rep dinner that was for heart medicine and did them heart shaped)
Layer of cake goes on the plate with a star tip pipe “stars” around the perimeter then fill in the center (its going to be covered and the “edge” is all you will see so pretty in the center is irrelevant) and then top with another layer of cake on which you will pipe pretty “stars”. You can zing it with a sauce or bop it with coco or confectioner’s sugar or even add a pretty garnish.
Let them chill in the fridge to set up. If on site do early and let firm up, if going off site they stay fairly firm for a while but transport well only after they have set up.
This is tall and typically causes gasps of delight when placed on the table.
I prefer to do a flavored wash on the cake during assembly but it isn’t all together necessary.
My biggest seller is chocolate cake/raspberry butter cream/chocolate cake topped with whipped milk chocolate ganache.
White cake and lemon butter cream is good, garnish with a fanned strawberry, mint leaves or a lemon “twist”. A lemon/raspberry combo is good too.
Dark chocolate and mint. Chocolate cake and white chocolate ganache. Chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and peanut butter ganache. What ever you can dream up.
Over in the recipe forum I posted a recipe (it’s under the red velvet thread) for a “flourless chocolate cake”, its super easy. Once chilled it slices very clean 16 slices per pan, plated with Cream Anglaise zinged with chocolate sauce and a whipped chocolate ganache rosette on top. I know, a very pedestrian plating but it is a do ahead dessert that can fit the gluten free crowd and is different.
Oh and giant chouxs are perfect for any occasion, just ask any clown(tee-hee). Pipe them big, bake them longer than you think (no don’t open the oven door to check on them) cut the tops off and pipe a sexy flavored butter cream inside (star tip of course) and put their little hat back on at a jaunty angle. Bop or zing and garnish. Chocolate choux does just fine and I even played around with a choux made with apple sauce and cinnamon which would go nice with a brown sugar butter cream. But don’t forget that choux could just be a nice vehicle for berries and cream.
I don’t know if all of this qualifies as easy, I think so, but if you are doing mini cannolis then you can handle this.